YOLF~ Year of Living Frugally

Last month I came across this article from the New York Times that really resonated with me. I sent it to a couple of girlfriends, and we all decided that 2018 would be YOLF, the Year of Living Frugally for us. We would be our support group.

We all do fairly well, trying to recycle and reuse; mend and repurpose instead of tossing things into the refuse. But I am still subject to that impulse buy; overspending on a new pair of shoes when I don't need them, picking up fresh flowers every time I go to the grocery store, not planning meals well and ending up with rotted food. Though saving money is great, it's more about over-consuming, waste, bringing home yet one more thing that I don't need, one more thing that I would look at and later feel guilty for purchasing. I don't want to add to the landfill: I don't want to add more stuff to my home, my life. I want to be smart and purposeful with my purchases.

Articles like this from BBC, "Used Clothes: Why is Worldwide Demand Declining?" make resisting that purchase a little easier. Having a group of friends make a pact, is helping even more. We have a group text and text each other when we get tempted, when we need a little extra will power, or just to be silly. We've all come up with ideas of how we can be frugal ~ utilizing the library instead of buying books; having the extra cup of coffee at home instead of the drive-through; fresh flowers once a season instead of every week; having friends over for dinner instead of going out. Hiking instead of going shopping is great exercise, gets you out into nature, and doesn't tempt. We ask ourselves "Is it a need or a want?" before we dig out our wallets now.

Bottom line, this pact with friends is fun, brings us closer together, gives us a common goal, helps us save money, and helps the earth by reducing our carbon footprint, one unneeded item at a time.

So what do you think? Does YOLF interest you? Perhaps you have family or friends that might like to try this? Do you have any ideas on ways to help cut down on wasteful spending? I'd love to have you join in the conversation so we can all share and learn how to conserve and be more frugal from each other.


  1. I've been thinking along similar lines.... That consumption on all levels is something I need to do more mindfully. I will look forward to your posts on this topic!

  2. As I have gotten older, I have determined that I just don't need more stuff. I find myself clearing out closets, bins, whatever of clothing that does not get worn. It feels good to have some space in my space, if you know what I mean. Since I like to sew, I have a hard time buying anything that I can make (even if I don't). So I rarely shop anymore - except for haunting the internet for fabric and patterns. I now tend to shop for food on an "as needed" basis, as I hate throwing out good food. I will admit to being the person who cooks most of her own food, bakes her own bread, make her own soap. It is all fun and a hobby for me. All a part of my personal creative bent - and I am very happy to have that. I need to make myself spend on experiences now since the need or want for "stuff" seems to be mostly behind me. I am 64 and recently retired, so my perceptions are very different from those who are still in the acquisition phase of their lives.

    1. I like your idea of thinking of every day necessities as opportunities to be creative ~ making clothing, meals, soap, etc.

      Also, I agree with your point that our perceptions are probably very different from those that are younger and still in the acquisition phase. It's easy to say I don't need or want more stuff when I already have most needed items.

      Something that really bothers me is how marketing plays such a huge role in what the general public thinks of what is "needed" versus what is really superfluous.